Can I just ramble a little about this series?

Oh, wait. It’s my space. I can totally ramble about this series!

This is the five book series Riptide will be putting out starting next summer, and I’m just…so stoked about it. For one, the titles, which have recently been revamped (thank the gods). I’m currently revising book one, which is Gays of Our Lives. I’ve just finished book three, The Queer and the Restless.

How much fucking fun is that? HOW MUCH?

There are a few reasons I’m in love with this series, and probably the main one is that it’s romance novels…with murder. Only a little bit of murder, in the beginning. But murder indeed.

I’m a mystery kid. I’ve read more mysteries than I’ve read probably any other genre (though I don’t internally categorize books by genre; the authors I’ve devoured have tended to be mystery authors). But I’m just shite at writing a real mystery novel. I’m terrible at it. I’ve tried! I have a brain that wants to keep the wrong things mysterious and finds the wrong things seductive. And also, I’m not actually that good at solving them, which makes me not that good at writing them.

But outlining these five books has been some of the most fun I’ve ever had outlining, and playing with how they all work together has been delightful. I adore it. I’m about to start book four–One Life to Lose–and it’s just so much ridiculous fun I can’t even tell you.

I should also say I owe a debt of gratitude to EE Ottoman, specifically for their podcast “Six Things I Would Like To See in Romance”. One of EEO’s six things has to do with queer people in romance sometimes being weirdly isolated from queer people in general, as if they have no community, as if they are the only queer they know (aside from the other romantic lead, of course). And that…has not been my experience, or EE’s, so it kind of weaseled into my head, not particularly going anywhere.

Months later I started outlining this series and realized that the books I wanted to write spoke to that–to queer community. To its highs and lows and bullshit and also, ultimately, to its grace. You all can tell me if I pulled any of that off when you read them. It’s a bit lofty, but queer community has been one of my homes–and not always a comfortable, or pleasant one–since my focus drifted from family to outside-family when I was a kid. I always had a sense of my queerness, and always had a sense of the community and its shifting demands, most of which I never met.

So there you have it. A very early introduction to the Queers of La Vista.

(Totally amazing photo “Queer Love” by Sebastian Raskop on Flickr, gratefully used under CC license.)